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Assignment Record– Rev. Jaime/James H. Duenas

Summary of Case: Jaime H. aka James Duenas was ordained in his native Colombia in 1950. In the late 1960s he began work in the Archdiocese of New York, assisting in parishes in Manhattan, Staten Island, Tuxedo, the Bronx and North Tarrytown. Beginning in 1991 and for nearly 25 years, he was the sole priest at Nativity of Our Blessed Lady in the Bronx. Of note are several unexplained gaps in his assignment history - the Official Catholic Directory does not index him 1974-1978 or 1981-1984.

In August 2011 a 16-year-old girl reported to police that Duenas, age 87, had sexually abused her in the rectory of Nativity of Our Blessed Lady over a three-day period during the previous week. She had recently been hired to work at the parish. Duenas was arrested and charged with sexual abuse, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. He pleaded guilty to the charges, but told police, "The girl was wearing short skirts" and "she didn't mind the massage." He was suspended from ministry.

Duenas died June 6, 2014. Later the same month his victim filed a civil lawsuit.


Ordained
: 1950


   

Start Stop Assignments Town/Accusations State/
Country
Position Notes
1950 1967     Colombia   Duenas was ordained in his native Colombia. His work in the Archdiocese of New York began in the late 1960s. He is not indexed in the Directories prior to 1969.

1968

Archdiocese of New York

Archbishop was Terence James Cooke (1968-1983).

1971 Our Lady of the Rosary New York NY

4/6, 3/5

In residence

 

1968 1971 Our Lady Star of the Sea Governors Island NY 3/5 This was a mission of Our Lady of the Rosary.
1971 1974 St. Mary's New York (Staten Island) NY 4/4, 3/4, 3/3 St. Mary's had a school with 330-286 students.
1974 1978         Duenas is not indexed in the 1975-1978 Directories, nor is he listed in the New York pages as at his previous or next assignments.
1978 1981 Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Tuxedo NY

2/2

In residence

 

1981

Cooke was succeeded by John Joseph O'Connor (1984-2000).

1984         Duenas is not indexed in the 1982-1984 Directories, nor is he listed in the New York pages as at his previous or next assignments.
1984 1985 St. Martin of Tours' New York (Bronx) NY 2/4

St. Martin of Tours' had a school with 380 students.

Duenas is indexed and listed in the New York pages of the 1985 Directory as "J. Duenas."

1985 1991 St. Teresa of Avila North Tarrytown NY 3/3, 3/4, 4/5 St. Teresa of Avila had a school with 149-102 students.

1991

Edward Michael Egan replaced O'Connor as New York archbishop (2000-2009), followed by Timothy Michael Dolan
(2009-).

2014 Nativity of Our Blessed Lady

New York (Bronx)

In August 2011 a 16-year-old girl reported to police that Duenas sexually abused her over a three-day period during the previous week, shortly after she started working at the Nativity of Our Blessed Lady rectory. Duenas, age 87, was arrested and charged with sexual abuse, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. He groped the girl's buttocks, made lewd suggestions, unclipped her bra after putting his hands under her shirt, and molested her after pulling her into his lap. He also told her not to tell her parents.

Duenas told police "The girl was wearing short skirts" and "she didn't mind the massage."

NY 1/1

Nativity of Our Blessed Lady had a school with 326-230 students, and a CCD program with 30-25 students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duenas was suspended from ministry after his arrest. He pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

 

Duenas died June 6, 2014. Later that same month his victim filed a civil lawsuit.

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (Kenedy & Sons, 1969-2015).

87-year-old Bronx Priest Accused of Inappropriately Touching 16-year-old Girl, CBS NY, August 4, 2011
Exclusive: Priest, 87, Arrested for Sexual Abusing Underage Girl,By Mario Diaz, KTLA, August 4, 2011
Priest Arrested on Sex Abuse Charges in the Bronx, By Kathy Carvajal, My Fox NY, August 4, 2011
Community Shocked by Sexual Abuse Charge against Priest, NY1, August 4, 2011
Elderly Priest Accused of Molestation in the Bronx, WABC, August 4, 2011
Bronx Priest, 87, Arrested on Sex Abuse Charges, Wall Street Journal, August 4, 2011
Exclusive: Students of Arrested 87-year-old Bronx Priest Speak out 20 Years Later, By Mario Diaz, WPIX, August 5, 2011
Advocate Group Urging Attack Victims to Step Forward, By Erica Pitzi, WPIX, August 8, 2011
Three Recent Troubling NY Clergy Sex Cases Involving Dolan, By David Clohessy, SNAP Statement, January 6, 2012
NYC Officials Fear of Archbishop Dolan Impedes Justice for Church Abuse Victims, By Scott Rose, New Civil Rights Movement January 12, 2012
Priest hit with lawsuit after his death for fondling teenager, By Kirstan Conley, NY Post, June 30, 2014
Predator Priest Is Sued, SNAP Responds, SNAP Statement, June 30, 2014


Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Duenas' career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the allegations against him, as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on March 11, 2017.


 
 

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